At the beginning of the month, the Flyers were dreadful when a man down, ranking 29th in penalty-kill percentage (73.9) on Feb. 2. Though their league ranking hasn’t improved significantly—now 28th—they’ve achieved an unexpected feat by going three straight games without killing a penalty. It’s been exactly 215 minutes, according to longtime Flyers beat writer Wayne Fish.
The NHL tells Deadspin the Flyers’ three-game streak is tied for the longest since the league began tracking detailed penalty-kill and power-play stats in the 1977-78 season. The Calgary Flames also went three games without going shorthanded between April 4 and 9 in 2015.
The Flyers didn’t commit any minor penalties in their two wins over the Canadiens and the Rangers. Although forward Dale Weise was called for roughing against Columbus on Feb. 16., it came at the same time as a Blue Jackets penalty, so the Flyers weren’t shorthanded.
Philadelphia’s been winning, too: The Flyers haven’t lost in regulation since a Feb. 1 game against the Devils. They’re 7-1-2 this month, with a better chance at the playoffs. They’re in third in the Metropolitan Division, three points out of first, and seven points ahead of the last playoff qualifier.
This is all happening while the team struggles with injuries. Wayne Simmonds will be out at least two weeks; starting goalie Brian Elliott had surgery on Feb. 13 and will be out another five weeks; and backup goalie Michal Neuvirth got hurt on Sunday and will be out at least a month. The Flyers traded with Detroit for goalie Petr Mrazek. (When asked what he liked of the team’s new goalie, GM Ron Hextall said, “No. 1, he was available.”)
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Last night’s 3-2 win over Montreal was particularly exciting: Jakub Voracek scored with 1:25 left in regulation to tie it, then scored again 1:26 into overtime. Backup goaltender Alex Lyon got the win; Mrazek will probably make his first start Thursday against Columbus. The Blue Jackets are near the bottom of the league in penalty minutes against this season, so who knows: Maybe the Flyers can keep the streak going.